Category Archives: Travel news

Virgin America Airlines announces Denver to San Francisco route

Virgin America Airlines has announced they will be starting service between Denver and San Francisco on March 16, 2015.

Three flights per day are scheduled. The first flight is at 7:00 a.m., then 12:30 p.m., then a flight at 6:00 p.m. Flights are on sale starting at $52.80 per segment.

Virgin America will be new to the Denver International Airport, and those of us here in Denver are excited to have another great airline choice.

Like Frontier Airlines and Spirit – and nearly every other airline – even calling the reservation center costs something at Virgin America. You can buy a higher fare class and get your first bag checked free. Otherwise, you’ll pay to check baggage, but you won’t pay for carry on luggage.

Virgin America offers mood-lit cabins, Wi-Fi, custom leather seats in the Main Cabin, power outlets and touch-screen video offering entertainment.

Read more about Virgin America and it’s planned opening in Denver: Flights to Denver on sale.

Denver, Colorado and the new Union Station

On Saturday my husband, a friend, and I went downtown on the light rail to see the new Union Station makeover. It was a nice Saturday afternoon, and we headed downtown to be among the first to see the new hotel built at Union Station.

Union Station Denver
The outside of Union Station in Denver, CO
UnionS tation Inside
The interior of Union Station in Denver Colorado

Union Station in downtown Denver has been a hub of Amtrak activity for about 100 years. The California Zephyr pulls out at about 7 a.m. most days, headed West to San Francisco. If you’re headed to Chicago, the train leaves around 7 p.m., headed East. This building used to be in the worst part of town and had become neglected and avoided.

In the past few years, developers have been working  redevelop the property around the train station and create a consolidated transportation hub. They have succeeded admirably.

The refurbished train station has a Victorian charm with a current twist. The the chandeliers invoke an old-world elegance, while the new vendors work in updated spaces. This building is now a centerpiece of lower downtown, a finishing touch to the years of work rebuilding and re-imagining the City of Denver.

The Oxford Hotel
The Oxford Hotel

Within a few blocks of the train station is Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies. Down the block from the front door of Union Station is the Oxford Hotel, one of the premier boutique hotels in Denver. Great restaurants and bars are also nearby, particularly if beer is your beverage of choice. Denver is home to many great breweries and we stopped at one of the most popular, the Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall. With a bit of the brew and some nachos consumed, we were refreshed enough to ride the mall shuttle to Union Station and head for home.

The official grand opening of the new building, including the transportation center, will be at the end of July 2014. We can’t wait to go back and join the party!

Trouble in Thailand during elections

The Thai elections were held today amid anti-government protesters. Despite the ongoing political turmoil in Thailand, popular tourist attractions remain open. The Thai authorities have opened Tourist Friend Centres to assist visitors. The Centres are open 24 hours a day. According to the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom, there are TFC branches at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport, four TFC BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phaya Thai, Ekkamai, Wong Wian Yai) and also Hua Lampong MRT station. Visitors can also contact the TFC by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212.  Before traveling to Thailand, it is a good idea to check out the State Department website for the latest travel updates.

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Southwest expanding routes to include the Caribbean

Southwest Airlines announced Monday they are expanding their routes to include Nassau, Bahamas, Aruba, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The flights will leave from Atlanta, Orlando, and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. These new routes complement the current routes to Mexico that Southwest-acquired AirTran is currently operating.

Southwest Airlines is a favorite airline of mine. I prefer to use Southwest when I travel to Detroit from Denver to see family. Their service is wonderful and the lack of stupid fees means I have a stress-free experience. The fact that a checked bag is free is a bonus.

My question to Southwest Airlines is “When will service start to either San Jose or Liberia, Costa Rica?” I’m glad to see that discount airlines are starting to fly international routes. Frontier Airlines started service to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Let’s hope this is a trend that continues.

Which is your favorite airlines and why? Tell us in the comments.